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Hair and Mozart

Mozart will never seem old.

On Monday evening we saw the musical ‘Hair’ at the New Wimbledon Theatre. I liked the energy of the cast. The dancing was fine and there were the two songs – Age of Aquarius and Good Morning Starshine – but it seemed so dated, and the nudity moment, presumably shocking once, seemed twee and irrelevant.

21 March – Mendelssohn


Felix Mendelssohn Piano Trio No.1, op.49 in D-minor

Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847)

Mendelssohn died aged just 38. But he had accomplished so much.

I am reading ‘Year of Wonder‘ by Clemency Burton-Hill. It looks at one piece of classical music each day. A worthwhile book, it prompts listening .. and that leads to more wonderful pieces.


Mendelssohns – Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor (op. 25) , Yuja Wang, Kurt Masur (Full)

Equinox

I need this. We need this .. Renewal. Rebirth. Monteverdi is a Renaissance composer and this piece of music celebrates, O Zepher Return, celebrates the return to Spring.

From Wikipedia: An equinox is commonly regarded as the instant of time when the plane (extended indefinitely in all directions) of Earth‘s equator passes through the center of the Sun.[3] This occurs twice each year: around 20 March and 23 September. In other words, it is the moment at which the center of the visible Sun is directly above the Equator. In the northern hemisphere, the equinox in March is called the Vernal or Spring Equinox; the September equinox is called the Autumnal or Fall Equinox.

Anti-Jazz

Attacks by people claiming to be ‘on the Left’ on Gilad Atzmon are attacks on freedom of expression. They are part of an irrationalism within the party and the so called ‘Left’ but they do not represent the Labour Party or any true Left any more than the CAA represents Jewish people. This is my response on YouTube to Atzmon’s understandable counter attack.

This is a completely unnecessary battle that is damaging for all concerned. I disagree with your view concerning JVL. While I do not like the notion of identity based political groups I understand that they may be necessary in particular circumstances. And when the Board of Deputies, JLM, CAA and LFI are powerful voices claiming to speak on behalf of the ‘Jewish community’ there is surely a need for a JVL to counter that claim. If I were Jewish and groups like JLM and CAA were claiming to speak for me I would take it personally and would wish to have my voice heard as a Jew.

You are of course entitled to your view. I have read your writings and have found nothing hateful, racist or antisemitic in them though not everyone may understand your use of irony and humour and you do not seem to make concessions to people’s sensitivities. It is not surprising that some people like Owen Jones and the leadership of Momentum jump on the Jewdas bandwagon in condemning you for being you but I have not heard of any attacks on you from either Corbyn or JVL.

It seems clear that the Labour party has been a pro-Zionist and latterly neoliberal party and that those elements are powerful within it. What we are experiencing is a kickback against Corbyn’s challenge to their power. With the excrable Tom Watson organising a ‘counter revolution’ within Labour and with a MSM almost wholly ranged against him, Corbyn’s strategy of keeping his eyes on the prize of a democratic socialist government is highly intelligent. It is right to resist and expose the empty irrationalism of those who are attacking you and freedom of expression but we should also understand the fight that Corbyn and his allies like Chris Williamson are engaged in. Very few of us could stay the course under that sort of pressure. Corbyn continues to do so and Corbyn continues to deserve our support.

Vessel

I had expected more. More meaning, more connection, more intimacy. The women on stage looked peaceful, serene, as though they had something to say but there were only words, weighty words perhaps, well pronounced words, words we could reflect on perhaps but words not used to connect or to communicate. Words that did not connect to become sentences in a piece that did not connect with me. Maybe that lack of connectedness was the point, as the piece (not sure I can call it a play) was about the medieval practice of anchoritism where women withdrew from the world and essentially entombed themselves in small spaces to better know God. Maybe the piece was structured to evoke a sense of fellow feeling with these anchorites who were attracted by the concept of being alone with God and found themselves merely alone, trapped, despairing, with the deadening reverberations of their own thoughts. If this was the intention then it worked and my not enjoying it was perhaps the point.

Commented on Guardian Review

Divina Banda

There is a translation of the lyrics here.

Always Be A Unicorn

To be a unicorn is to acknowledge that you are magical and that the world is magical. And, since this is true, being yourself is being a unicorn.

Being magical doesn’t mean that the world is always safe or that things magically go your way, it’s just that you know that even in the darkest of times, a light abides, and everything turns out well, even if you die.

Unicorns represent purity and the unicorn’s magic is only present to the extent of your purity. This is not intended to be moralistic, I’m not suggesting that you have to be an unsullied virgin or anything like that but you definitely need to be in harmony with yourself. As the song says ‘guilty feet have got no rhythm’, and magic is all about sensing, and weaving, harmonies and rhythms.

Be yourself. Be a unicorn.

Weightless

Researchers at Mindlab International in the U.K. wanted to know what kind of music induces the greatest state of relaxation. The study involved having participants try to solve difficult puzzles — which inherently triggered a certain degree of stress — while connected to sensors. At the same time, participants listened to a range of songs as researchers measured their brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and rate of breathing.

What they found is that one song — “Weightless” — resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.

Interestingly, the song was specifically designed to induce this highly relaxed state. Created by Marconi Union, the musicians teamed up with sound therapists to carefully arrange harmonies, rhythms and bass lines, which in turn slow a listener’s heart rate and blood pressure, while also lowering stress hormones like cortisol.

In fact, the music is so effective, that many of the female participants became drowsy — to the point where lead researcher Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson advises against listening to it while driving.
Source: Collective Evolution Website

Kate Tempest’s Progress

Style

This guy has style.

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